There once was a time when a school day started with prayer, the 10 commandments were permitted to be prominently displayed on the wall, and the Bible was revered, by and large, in the culture as the Word of God. As shocking as this might sound to some, equally shocking are the things kids are experiencing today in school. With escalating school violence, suicide rates, drug addiction, sexual promiscuity, bullying, and now allowing students to decide their gender, how do Christian parents equip their children to thrive in their faith in Jesus while in public school?
I put this question out to some amazing parents in our congregation who are in the midst of this challenge and doing a tremendous job! Here are their responses boiled down to 4 must do’s:
- Pray! Pray! Pray! The reality is that God uses our prayers to accomplish His purposes. He is our protection and source of strength. We must pray for our kids, with our kids and over our kids. Pray for your kids to know God and to have godly friendships. Pray the promises of God over them. I love the promise of Psalm 103:17, ”His salvation extends to the children’s children of those who are faithful to his covenant…” Pray for your kid’s classmates, teachers and administrators. Teach your children to pray as well.
- Talk with your kids constantly, openly, honestly, without reacting to their questions, doubts and fears. Children’s hearts are like sponges constantly absorbing information around them. As we draw out their joys, hurts, dreams, desires, we can help them see life through the lens of a biblical world view. Check out Deuteronomy 6:4-9 and Psalm 78:4-7 for more on that.
- Be intentional in helping them own their faith. Faith in Jesus as Lord and Savior must be personally embraced. Once begun, its vital for them do things that will build their faith, such as being part of a vibrant Christian community, having godly friendships, developing a habit of daily seeking God through His word and prayer, and depending on Jesus for help to love, obey, and serve Him. Nothing speaks this louder into the lives of our children than seeing us live it out with them.
- Live the mission. As Jesus followers we are called to love God and love one another as Jesus has loved us. This begins in our homes and extends out into our communities, places of work and schools. This would include getting to know our kids friends and their families, opening our homes to them and inviting them to church. As one parent put it, “Our faith is not boring – we are a part of God’s big plan! As they take their place in the body of Christ, we think they’ll grow deeper roots.” And these “deeper roots” will enable them to weather the storms they’ll face in public school and the in rest of their lives as well.
If you’re looking for a place to find vibrant Christian community come and see what God is doing at ICC!
– Pastor Lee Hamblen | Children’s Pastor @ ICC
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